NBA

Suns beat Warriors to tie franchise record 17 straight wins, Harden stars for Nets

By Sports Desk December 01, 2021

The Phoenix Suns have tied their franchise record 17 consecutive wins and moved level with the Golden State Warriors at the top of the table by beating them in a 104-96 win on Tuesday.

The Suns' record-equalling win came without Devin Booker who suffered a left hamstring injury in the second quarter and did not return.

Deandre Ayton top scored with 24 points along with 11 rebounds while veteran guard Chris Paul had 15 points and 11 assists, but Phoenix's defense was critical to the win.

The Warriors only managed 61 points after quarter-time, with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green finishing the game with only 12 and eight points respectively.

Golden State had a season-high 22 turnovers, with Paul having five steals and Mikal Bridges also registering four steals.

The result means the Suns and Warriors both have 18-3 records across the season and will meet again on Friday.

 

Harden finds his groove

James Harden had his third 30-point game for the season, finishing with 34 points as the Brooklyn Nets won 112-110 over the New York Knicks. Harden had a double-double with 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals, while Kevin Durant contributed 27 points and nine assists.

Top draft pick Cade Cunningham registered a career-high 26 points including five three-pointers as the Detroit Pistons lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 110-92.

In the absence of Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr and Desmond Bane scored 25 and 23 points respectively  to lead the Memphis Grizzlies past the Toronto Raptors 98-91.

 

Kings struggle from range

The Sacramento Kings only managed six triples for the entire game as they were beaten by the Los Angeles Lakers, without LeBron James, 117-92. Shooting guard Terence Davis went zero-for-four from beyond the arc. Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook had 25 and 23 points respectively in James' absence, after he entered the NBA's health and safety protocols prior to tip-off.

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  • Australian Open: Collins swats Swiatek aside to reach first grand slam final Australian Open: Collins swats Swiatek aside to reach first grand slam final

    Danielle Collins will face home favourite Ash Barty in her first grand slam final at the Australian Open after dispatching Iga Swiatek in straight sets.

    Playing in only her second major semi-final at the age of 28, an assured Collins rose to the occasion to win 6-4 6-1 in dominant fashion on Rod Laver Arena.

    The 27th seed from the United States was beaten by Petra Kvitova in the last four of the first grand slam of the year at Melbourne Park three years ago, but she was not to be denied on this occasion.

    Swiatek was unable to become the first Polish woman to reach the final of this tournament, struggling with her serve from the start as her bid to win a second grand slam title came to a halt and Collins booked a showdown with world number one Barty on Saturday.

    Collins capitalised on a shaky start from the 2020 French Open champion, breaking when the seventh seed sprayed a forehand long after double-faulting in a poor first service game.

    An aggressive Collins was a double-break up at 3-0 after her out-of-sorts opponent drilled a backhand wide, but Swiatek sprung into life, winning back-to-back games to reduce the deficit to 4-2.

    Swiatek trailed 5-2 after being broken for a third time as she struggled with her second serve and although Collins failed to serve out the set at the first attempt, she made no mistake second time around after firing down two aces.

    The Florida native was in the zone, staying on her feet during changeovers, and she struck another blow by breaking in the first game of the second set with a cross-court backhand winner.

    Swiatek's frustration mounted as her service woes continued, Collins near flawless with her backhand a potent weapon as she broke again to lead 3-0.

    The ice-cool world number 30 showed not a hint of nerves, finishing off the job with another break after earning two match points with a glorious forehand winner and forcing a backhand error from Swiatek to move into the final.

    DATA SLAM: Imperious Collins a class apart as Swiatek is let down by her serve

    While Collins was at her very best in a brilliant performance, Swiatek looked like she did not know what had hit her.

    Swiatek won only three of the 21 points behind her tentative second serve after landing only 60 per cent of her first serves in, and the 20-year-old fell into the trap of feeding Collins' dangerous backhand far too often.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

    Collins – 27/13
    Swiatek – 12/13

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

    Collins – 7/4
    Swiatek – 1/4

    BREAK POINTS WON

    Collins – 6/10
    Swiatek – 2/3

  • Australian Open: Barty moves into final as fairy tale remains alive in Melbourne Australian Open: Barty moves into final as fairy tale remains alive in Melbourne

    Ash Barty continued her fairy-tale run at the Australian Open, crushing Madison Keys to become the first local woman to reach the singles final in 42 years.

    The two-time grand slam champion continued her impressive form at Melbourne Park with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Keys on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

    Barty, the world number one, became the first Australian woman to reach the singles final at the tournament since Wendy Turnbull in 1980.

    She can become the first to win the title since Chris O'Neil in 1978 when she faces either Danielle Collins or Iga Swiatek in Saturday's final, which she will undoubtedly start as favourite.

    Barty has dropped just 21 games on her way to the decider and the reigning Wimbledon champion was again ruthless against Keys, who lost her fourth grand slam semi-final in five such appearances.

    The 25-year-old Barty settled well and broke the Keys serve in the opening game.

    A powerful forehand created the opportunity before she delivered a cross-court winner off that wing to convert following a Keys drop shot.

    Barty only made two first serves in her opening two service games yet did not lose a point.

    Spurred on by a hopeful and enthusiastic home crowd, Barty's variety and depth – plus nine unforced errors in five games from Keys – helped her race into a 4-1 lead.

    Keys finally won a point against the Barty serve in the sixth game, the Australian forced to save a break point before sealing the opening set in 26 minutes courtesy of a forehand return winner down the line.

    The first real signs of nerves from Barty came in the fifth game of the second set, but she dug out a tough hold for 3-2.

    Keys had settled, but Barty grabbed the break she was after in the sixth game with back-to-back forehand winners.

    Barty looked calm throughout and that did not change as she served out the match in style, booking a spot in the final with a forehand winner.

    DATA SLAM: Brilliant Barty on verge of ending Aussie wait

    Barty has already ended one long wait – an Australian reaching the women's singles final at Melbourne Park.

    She is a win away from ending another by becoming the first Australian winner of the men's or women's singles title in 44 years.

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    Barty – 20/13
    Keys – 8/24

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
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    Keys – 1/1

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Barty – 4/6
    Keys – 0/2

  • Giannis admits Cavs deserves greater respect after dominant Bucks win Giannis admits Cavs deserves greater respect after dominant Bucks win

    Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo thinks the Cleveland Cavaliers deserve more respect after their impressive defeat of the reigning champions.

    The Cavs moved to 30-19 for the season, with eight wins from their past nine games, thanks to a dominant 115-99 home victory over the Bucks.

    Cleveland have already comfortably surpassed their win total from last season, when they claimed just 22 victories and were in the draft lottery for the third year running, and only one side in the Eastern Conference has won more than their 30 games in 2021-22.

    After falling behind in the first quarter, they dominated the middle phase of Thursday's game, beginning the second half with a three-pointer triple in 48 seconds before marching into a 93-72 lead.

    Giannis tallied 26 points, nine rebounds and three assists on his return from a knee problem but his efforts were not enough.

    Last year's Finals MVP said there is little doubt the Cavs are now contenders not just for the playoffs, but for the title.

    "This is not the Cleveland we knew over the past few years," said Giannis, who brought chicken wings to his post-game media conference.

    "They have a good team, and we have to respect them more. They're a playoff team and are fighting for the title themselves."

    Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of arguably their best win of the season: "It's who we are. We take on all challenges.

    "We don't run from anybody. We don't back down. We give everybody our best shot."

    Counterpart Mike Budenholzer had few complaints about the result, adding of the Cavs: "They played lights out tonight.

    "I don't know what the right analogy is, but they played really well. They beat us pretty good.

    "Live ball turnovers is when transition defense is the toughest, and we made a lot of them."

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